Car designers have a tough time at the moment, there are new CO2 emission laws coming into force, there’s the safety rules that have to be obeyed and the drop in sales worldwide have meant a drop in budgets too.
For a young car company like SEAT this has meant that they need to rationalise everything that they do. There is one trick up the SEAT sleeve though; they are part of the VAG group. This means they can rummage around in the VW and Audi parts bins when they want to make a new car.
For the Exeo this has gone to an extreme, they not only had a rummage but they just took a whole car. The car you see spread across the page this week might look familiar because it used to be the Audi A4.
I know it’s got a different front and some changes to the rear but everything else is pure A4.
That’s no bad thing because the old A4 was a good, solid workhorse of a car and with an s-line body kit it became a pin up on the wall. The new Exeo has that same solid feel about it, the doors make a deep clunk when you close them and the dash feels really well put together. The seats are big and comfy, you could easily drive all day in the car without feeling tired.
The same draw backs are in the Exeo as with the A4, the big one being the rear leg room, while it’s not as bad as the old A4 it’s still a little on the snug side. For an estate there still isn’t much room behind a tall driver, on the up side you do get a big boot with a built in sun blind that doubles as a dog guard. The seats split 60/40 and the dog guard goes with them giving a very useable square space.
There’s a 2.0ltr diesel unit under the bonnet that puts out 120bhp or 143bhp depending on spec and 139g of CO2 putting it in tax band B (just). It’s a strong engine and pulls well from the off, there’s a six speed box and cruise control so no problems on the motorway. The handling is a bit on the soft side but the grip is fantastic so the more enthusiastic among you will love it.
There are two specs to choose from, the S.E. that starts at €26,345 and the Style for €29,690. The style gets you different alloys, some chrome trim, leather steering wheel and some more speakers. I really like this car, in fact I think it might just be the best car that SEAT make today. There’s a good reason for that, I liked the old Audi it’s based on; I just wish SEAT had put more of that edgy feeling that they do so well. SEAT’s always make me feel that I’m in some sort of sports car that’s been made by people with passion, the Exeo has much more of the German feel about it.